Best Free Cloud Storage 2022

Who offers the best free cloud storage?

Things to consider when looking for free cloud storage:

  • Is it secure?
  • Is it private?
  • How easy is it to use?
  • What type of features do they offer?
  • How much data can you store?

I made this list of the best free cloud storage providers with a strong emphasis on security and privacy. So if that is less important to you, you may want to consider a more mainstream option like Google Drive or iCloud. But most likely, your data is something that you don’t want to lose or share with whomever your provider may choose.

Free Cloud Storage Comparison

Security
Rating
End-to-
End Encryption
Zero-Knowledge
Encryption
Open
Source
2-Foctor
Authen-tication
FeaturesStorage
Limit
Ease
of Use
NextCloud4.8/5YesYesYesYes-Total control over how your data is stored.
-Large amount of add-ons and integrations.
-Brute force protection and machine-learning based login protection.
You Host:
You Decide
3.8/5
Sync4.5/5YesYesNoYes-Easy file sharing with QR codes.
-Instant, realtime backups.
-Remote lockout and remote wipe.
5 GB4.6/5
Icedrive4.1/5NoNoNoYes-File sharing.
-3GB bandwidth per day.
-File syncing and versioning.
10 GB4.0/5
pCloud4.0/5NoNoNoYes-Instant synchronization between all of your devices.
-File Sharing.
-Easy to use.
5 GB
(up to 10GB)
4.3/5
Tresorit4.1/5YesYesNoYes-500MB maximum file size.
-Connect up to 2 devices.
-Free email plugins to encrypt email attachments (Gmail, Outlook)
3 GB4.3/5
Google Drive2.9/5NoNoNoYes– File sharing.
-Collaboration tools and integrations with Google’s products.
15 GB4.6/6

#1 – NextCloud

NextCloud, in my opinion, is hands down, the best free cloud storage solution. When deployed correctly, it is the most secure, highly flexible, and has an extensive list of add-ons and integrations.

To be clear though, Next cloud is not the simple make an account and start backing up your data solution that the others on this list are. NextCloud is a self-hosted solution, meaning that you need to install it onto either your own computer, or, an online server (plenty of free providers like CloudFiles-3GB, Webo.hosting-5GB, and Tab.Digital-8GB). The extra effort put into setting up your own cloud pays off in your ability to set thing up the way that makes the most sense for you and a greater understanding in how your cloud is configured. But if that’s not reason enough, NextCloud is the only service on this list that who’s code is “open source”. Open source software has the advantage of being vetted by the public as any bugs or weakness in the code will be exposed. With proprietary software, you are simply trusting that the software is safe and secure. They also have a $10,000 security bug bounty just to ensure leading security pro’s are checking there code.

NextCloud can be installed directly onto any Linux computer, or on Mac or Windows with the use of a virtual machine. Setting up a Nextcloud server can be relatively easy for a standard installation, or very difficult if you choose many customizations. Though once all of that is done, the interface is easy and intuitive.

NextCloud’s Key Features

  • Choose your server: Choose which data center to build your cloud on giving you the flexibility to store your data anywhere in the world. Or you can set it up at home and server your data to anywhere in the world.
  • Mobile and desktop apps: Apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux. One of the cloud services that offers a client for Linux. Their web app offers the full functionality of NextCloud.
  • File versioning: Restore old version of your files, how many past version are stored is set by you.
  • File sharing: Many of the other providers in this list offer file sharing but most limit the amount of control for the free plans. NextCloud gives you total control over file sharing with their free plan. Set expiration on links, assign different permissions per file/folder, and different permissions per user.
  • Media Server: Stream audio and video files directly from your server.

Pros:

  • Total flexibility.
  • Open source software.
  • End-to-End encryption.
  • Zero-Knowledge encryption.
  • 2-Factor authentication.
  • Large file size.
  • Mobile apps.
  • Desktop apps.
  • Auto-upload photos from mobile.

Cons:

  • Takes more time to set up and understand.
  • Your cloud, your responsibility.

#2 – Sync

Sync is a serious competitor in the online cloud storage space with End-to-End encryption, Zero-Knowledge encryption and 2-Factor authentication included in it free plan. 5GB of free storage space isn’t as much as some other offer, but the security and functionality definitely make up for it. Furthermore, all of Sync’s data centers are located in Canada, which means they are more secure than if they were in the US, as they aren’t subject to the US Patriot Act

Sync’s Key Features

  • Sync up to 5 devices: With “selective sync” you can choose which files you would like stay synced and which ones you would not on up to 5 devise.
  • File versioning: You can recover old version of file or deleted files going back 30 days.
  • Remote device lockout: Disable lost or stolen devices to make sure that no one can access your files and folders.
  • File sharing: Create up to 3 team shared folders and 3 password protected links at a time.
  • Mobile and desktop apps: Apps for Android and iOS ,and a desktop app for Windows. No desktop app for Mac or Linux, though you can still use their web app in any modern browser. The desktop app lets you mange your storage space as if it were a physical disk manageable from you file explorer.

Pros:

  • Zero-Knowledge encryption.
  • End-to-End encryption.
  • 2-Factor authentication.
  • GDPR and PIPEDA compliant.
  • No file size limits.
  • Sync does not track or share app use age information.

Cons:

  • Only 5GB monthly file sharing.
  • Limited files sharing features.
  • Slower than average download and upload speeds.

#3 – Icedrive

Icedrive offers excellent speed, usability and security, with a simple and attractive interface. Icedrive has fewer features than many of it counterparts, particularly with 3rd party integrations and file sharing options, though the 10GB of free online storage makes there service very compelling. Icedrive does offer very strong privacy and security with zero knowledge encryption as well as two fish encryption for your files while on the server.

Icedrive’s Key Features

  • File versioning: You can access old version of your stored files going up to 5 previous versions. You can also recover deleted files up to 2 weeks old.
  • Speed: Upload and download speed are very fast.
  • Twofish encryption: While Twofish is not considered to be any more or less secure than the standard AES that most providers use, Icedrive chose it because they believe that since it is less popular, there are less hacker crafting attacks for it.
  • Preview files from the cloud: Icedrive has developed a method that allows you to preview a file that is encrypted on their server. The preview of the file is streamed to your device, where it is then decrypted. Works with most popular file types.
  • Mobile and desktop apps: Apps for Android and iOS ,and a desktop app for Windows. No desktop app for Mac or Linux, though you can still use their web app in any modern browser. The desktop app lets you mange your storage space as if it were a physical disk manageable from you file explorer.

Pros:

  • Highly secure and private.
  • Easy to use.
  • Attractive, simple interface.
  • 3GB daily bandwidth

Cons:

  • Fewer options when sharing files.
  • Fewer 3rd party integrations.

#4 – pCloud

Pcloud starts your free plan off with 4GB of storage which can be upgraded to 5GB by simply verifying your email address. You can get up 10GB of free storage by getting other people to sign up using your referral.

Pcloud offers a 15 day version history which lets you recover any file you have deleted in the last 15 days. Pcloud offers great upload and download speeds, is highly secure, and has a very easy to use user interface. It also offers you the choice whether to store your data on servers located in the United States or the European Union.

pCloud’s Key Features

  • Instant file synchronization: Any device you have installed pCloud on can be synchronized across all of your other devices running the pCloud application. So when you make a change to one device, the same change gets applied to all of the other devices (computer, smartphone, or tablet).
  • Play media from the cloud: The web interface lets you play your audio and videos files from your cloud storage. Has a built in audio and video player. Other files though, do need to be downloaded to be accessed.
  • Numerous third party integrations: Backup your WordPress website, social media accounts, and your other cloud storage providers like Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive.
  • Link sharing: You can create link to share your folders with people who don’t even have a pCloud account.

Pros:

  • Feature rich, easy to use interface:
  • Great upload and download speeds:
  • Desktop application available for Windows Mac and Linux.

Cons:

  • No Zero-Knowledge or End-to-End encryption.
  • Only 5GB of storage space.

#5 – Tresorit

Tresorit is a fantastic free cloud storage service, and would have scored much higher if not for the low amount of storage space (3GB). It is highly secure, and easy to use. They offer true end-to-end encryption and Zero-Knowledge encryption, meaning no on, not even Tresorit, can view the content of your drive. If your looking for high security and don’t need to store very much data, Tresorit would be a great choice.

Tresorit’s Key Features

  • File Sharing: Tresorit offers a very robust set of file sharing options. Share
  • files with encrypted download links that can have passwords, tracking, and custom settings. You can have 10 share links active at once with a limit of 250MB per file.
  • Mobile and desktop apps: Apps available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and from any web browser.
  • Connect up to 2 devices: You can automatically sync folders and set your cloud storage as a network drive so you can access it in your file explorer.
  • Based in Switzerland: Switzerland has better than average Federal laws protecting data privacy.

Pros:

  • End-to-End encryption.
  • Zero-Knowledge encryption.
  • 2-Factor Authentication.
  • Consistently gets high customer satisfaction ratings.

Cons:

  • Low storage limit: Only 3GB of free space.
  • Fewer settings and options as many other cloud storage services.
  • 500MB maximum file size limit.

#6 – Google Drive

Google drive offers 15 gigabytes of free storage. If you have a Google account you already have access to Google drive. Google drive is powerful productivity tool, as it integrates with Google’s fantastic suite of products, is easy to use, and most users already are familiar with many of Google’s services. If you have a Google account, you already have access to 15GB of free storage. Unfortunately, Google drive does not offer file encryption, end-to-end encryption, or zero-knowledge encryption.

Google Drive’s Key Features.

  • File Sharing: Easily allow others to view, edit, or download files and documents. You can create separate permissions per user. So one user may be able to edit documents, another may only be able to view documents. You can also set separate persimmons per document.
  • Mobile and desktop apps: There is a Google Drive app for Android, iOS, and Google drive desktop for Windows and Mac. The mobile version allows you to scan directly to your drive. There is no app for Linux users but they can still use the web based version.
  • Multisearch: Allows you choose if you would like your search to include text found in images. Google Drive has several other advanced search features like searching by the person who shared the file or files you have shared with specific people.

Popular Google services that are integrated with Google drive.

  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • Gmail
  • Google Photos
  • Google Slides
  • Google Forms
  • Google Drawings
  • Google Sites

Pros:

  • Easy to use: Most people are familiar with Google services and already have a Google account.
  • Powerful integrations: Integrates seamlessly with Google products as well as many other popular applications such as Microsoft Office.
  • Fantastic tools: Google makes some of the best software on earth and Google drive has a ton of functionality.
  • 15GB Free storage: The largest size limit of free cloud storage offered by any cloud storage providers on this list.

Cons:

  • Does not offer Zero knowledge or end-to-end encryption.
  • Google browses the contents of your drive.
  • Download and upload speeds are mediocre.

Similar Posts